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Old July 28, 2011, 12:32 PM   #1
BML
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Gunpowder nozzle doesn't fill

When I am loading a black powder pistol I hold the gunpowder flask pointing downwards with my indext finger over the end of the nozzle, press the powder release spring, give the flask a good shake, release the spring and look at the top end of the nozzle to make sure its full before I pour the gunpowder into the cylinder.
Recently I have noticed that the nozzle is not full to the top and I have to repeat the process. Can anyone sugest why this should happen?
I emptied that flask today to check that there were no lumps of gunpowder and noted that there were a number of grains that were a yellow colour, can anyone sugest what that is?
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Old July 28, 2011, 12:41 PM   #2
Hawg
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Probably because the pressure of your finger partially fills the tip of the nozzle. Use a powder measure.
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Old July 28, 2011, 01:51 PM   #3
bedbugbilly
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+1 to what Hawg said . . . . I always seem to have an incomplete fill due to the finger pressure on the end of the spout when tipping the flask . . . the fleshy pad of the finger causing and incomplete fill due to it pressing into the spout. It never seemed to make a difference whether I was using an antique/original flask or a repro.

That said, I've had a number of repro flasks that I have used over the years. The quality is not there in regards to the fit of the spout cut-off . . . they just seem to be a lot sloppier than the nice tight tolerances of an original. That probably isn't your problem . . . and you may have check this . . . unscrew the spout and then activate the shut-off lever with your thumb and visually inspect the cut-off to make sure it is opening all the way . . . enough to let the powder flow freely.

A flask is not "water tight" or "air tight" due to the construction of it . . . i'e. the cut-off mechanism. Humidity can cause problems which you check for by looking for "clumps". I have no problems in storing powder in a horn as I know that it is air-tight (I make my own horns and test them for being air tight). Flasks, however, I fill before using and when I'm done, if there is powder left in them, I empty it back in to the original container that is air tight. With a funnel, it doesn't take long to fill a flask up before you go shooting.
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Old July 28, 2011, 03:32 PM   #4
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
Probably because the pressure of your finger partially fills the tip of the nozzle.
That or the valve didn't close all the way before you tilted it back up. I had a flask that the valve shaft was getting worn on, so the valve wasn't fully closing. When I'd tip the flask up, the powder would flow back into the flask, then when I'd tilt it down to the chamber of the revolver, it wouldn't stop flowing and would fill the chamber up. I've retired that flask.
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Old July 28, 2011, 04:06 PM   #5
wogpotter
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Too much finger pressure. I had the same problem.
I cured it with a small flap of stiff leather & a thong so that I covered the hole with a stiff piece of skin, not a flexible one.
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Old July 28, 2011, 04:42 PM   #6
Doc Hoy
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I made this little fixture to put onto the CVA flask

I am quite proud of this thing because it really seems to solve a lot of flask associated problems



It is made from a lucite tube about four inches in length. The plunger is made from aluminum rod and a diaphram of felt. I adapted a Treso spout and fitted the tube into the fitting I made from the spout.




It fits onto a CVA flask.




I marked the plunger in increments of five grains. I just set the plunger for the desired powder charge, turn the flask with the spout down, open the gate and let the lucite tube fill with powder. I can tell when it is full and detect air ockets in the powder because obviously the lucite tube is clear.

Gives me very consisent charges. Easy to use.

I must hasten to add that charging a previously fired revolver cylinder directly from the flask is considered to be so dangerous as to be a "no no".

The idea is that hot embers remaining from the previous shot can ignite powder as it contacts the embers. There is danger of this backfiring into the spout and thence into the flask which might contain enough powder to cause greivous injury as it explodes. The very idea of the occurrence is enough to give you pause.

I charge this way but I carefully inspect the chambers never loading the cylinder in the revolver. I take it out to load and this has the benefit of permitting me to easily see into the chambers. I also wait a bit of time between reloads. I take my marker and mark the targets, take hit off of the Jack Daniels and then reload. Generally at least two minutes.


Just kidding about the Jack Daniels. I never mix drinking and driving, boating or shooting.
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; July 28, 2011 at 04:54 PM.
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Old July 28, 2011, 07:38 PM   #7
wogpotter
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I really hate to ask the obvious question, but how do you get the powder into the chamber?
Unscrew the modified tip?
pull the plunger & re set it?
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Old July 28, 2011, 11:11 PM   #8
Hellgate
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When I use a coarser powder like 2F I've had the grains bridging and clogging the flow causing inconsistent flow so I always shake the devil out of the flask as I am filling the spout.
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Old July 29, 2011, 05:33 AM   #9
Doc Hoy
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Wogpotter

The plunger pulls out of the tube, then dump the powder that is in the tube into the chamber. It may not be clear from the photos but the plunger slides in and out like a trombone slide. It stays in place because the felt diaphram is little oversized making the fit just a little tight. If I just hold the flask upside down, the plunder does not fall out, but it is easy to pull out with just a little force.

In this way, I am resetting the charge with every chamber I load.

I never tried this device with 2F but it works with pistol grind powder.
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Old July 29, 2011, 08:15 AM   #10
wogpotter
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I have the same flask & found the same problem with some coarse-grained substitute powders.
What I did that cured the problem was to use a case chamfering/deburring tool from my reloading setup to put a cone-shaped cut at the entrance to the measuring spout, replacing the sharp shoulder in the original. Yes this did change the volume very slightly so I then shortened the tube slightly to compensate.
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Old July 29, 2011, 10:19 AM   #11
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Perhaps your spring loaded cutoff isn't functioning properly. I have had theat problem where bp fines have coated the inside of the lid and slowed the closing gate down so that when I upright the flask, some of the powder returns to the container. Take it apart and check it out, clean if necessary.
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Old July 29, 2011, 10:43 AM   #12
wogpotter
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Actually the gate on the flask I have is externally checkable by the angle of the lever, one of the reasons I like this type. I've also cleaned it recently as the other thing I like about it is the way you can just unscrew the "top" of the flash without tools & access the gate directly.
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